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2 NEED FOR A NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM? The scarcity of Blacks? Hispanics, and American Indians in the doctoral scientific and eng~neenng work force is unequivocal. In 1991 Blacks, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and American Indians comprised 2.3 percent of doctoral scientists and engineers (NRC 1994~. In 1987, an estimates! three percent of full-time instructional staiT in the natural science fields in college and universities were Black or Hispanic (NCES 1993b). By contrast, it should be noted that underparticipating minorities made up 22 percent of the total U.S. population in 1990 (NSF 1990, 4) One consequence of the scarcity of minority doctorates is the very low proportion of such scientists among principal investigators of research grants. In 1991 the National Institutes of Health (NTH) awarded 5,217 new research project grants totaling $~.! billion in funding. Twenty-five African American researchers received grants, representing 0.4 percent of the total awards (NIH 1992~. Figures provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) indicate that in 1993 a total of 7,780 new competitive research awards (excluding those made by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources) were made. Underparticipating minorities received 287 or three percent of total awards. Within that group there were ~ 5 American Indian, 89 Black, ~ 6 ~ Hispanic, and 22 Pacific Islander principal investigators. Asians' who are not underrepresented among doctoral scientists and engineers, received 728 grant awards. The situation is unlikely to improve markedly in the near filture if past trends are any indication. In 1995 Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians earned 5.2 percent of doctorates awarded to U. S. citizens and permanent residents in the natural sciences and engineering, compared to 2.2 percent in 1976 (see Table I). Over the past 10 years, the number of doctorates awarded to American Indians, Blacks, and Hispanics has doubled, with their share increasing from 3.6 percent to 5.2 percent. By comparison, the number of doctorates awarded to Asians increased by almost 400 percent, with their share increasing from 7.4 percent to 23. percent. OVERALL EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT While the dearth of minorities with Ph.D.s is the most immediate and tangible evidence of their underrepresentation in science and engineering' their scarcity all along the educational pipeline demonstrates the need for a longitudinal approach to the

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4 TABLE 1 Science and Engineering Doctorates Awarded, by Race/Ethnicity, 1976, 1984, and 1995 (U.S. Citizens and Noncitizen Permanent Residents) Race/Ethnicity197619841995 Total (a)9,4169,31614,024 1 00%1 00%1 00% American Indian32248 0.10.20.3 Asian7276853,342 7.77.423.8 African American132156319 1.41.72.3 All Hispanic (b)76162362 0.81.72.6 White8,4788,2919,953 90.089.071.0 (a) Includes mathematics, computer sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and life sciences. (b) Hispanic figures for 1976 include Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans only. SOURCE: NRC 1996b. problem. Lack of educational attainment and student choice narrow the pool of potential minority scientists and engineers long before graduate school. At the elementary and high school levels, rapid growth in the Black? Hispanic, and American Indian school-age population has boosted total enrollment numbers, obscuring the fact that enrollment and persistence rates may not have risen and? in some instances, have declined. Black, Hispanic, and American Indian students are lost from the educational system at far higher rates than Asian and White students, with the cumulative eject of these disparities demonstrated by the severe under representation of these groups among Ph.D. * recipients. Ideally, an examination of the flow of minor- ity students from high school to the Ph.D. would follow the same cohort through its educational journey, tracking individual completion and attrition, and paying special attention to critical transition points. Unfortunately, longitudinal data on the same group of students covering this time span do not exist. There are, however, data on minority students at key points in their educational careers which document the substantial narrowing of the pipeline as students approach the doctorate.

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5 African Americans Indicators of progress are mixed. In ~ 99 I, 75 percent of Blacks between the ages of IS and 24 had completed high school, compared to 82 percent of Whites (U. S. Dept. Of Commerce, Bureau of the Census 1993~. For Blacks this reflects a gain of ~ 5 percentage points in high school completion rates since 1970, narrowing, but not closing, differences between Blacks and Whites on this measure. National test scores suggest that the academic preparation of Black students has improved markedly (Koretz 1992~. Since 1976 their combined verbal and mathematics SAT scores increased 55 points, closing about one-quarter of the total gap between White and Black total mean scores (College Entrance Examination Board 1993~. This is especially significant since the proportion of Black students taking the SAT doubled over that time period. Although the number of Blacks enrolled in college has increased since 1976, the rate of college attendance has not (NCES 1993b). Data from the Current Population Survey show that in 1991, 42 percent of White high school graduates, ages IS to 24, were enrolled in college, compared to 32 percent of Blacks (U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census 1993~. College graduation continues to be a major hurdle. Blacks received 6.7 percent of all bachelor's degrees in 1980-~l, but their share fell to 6.2 percent in 1990-91. Twenty-five percent of Whites, ages 25 to 29, have completed four or more years of college, compared to 12 percent of Blacks. Proportionately fewer Blacks pursue graduate study relative to their representation among college graduates. In 1991 Blacks represented 5.4 percent of total graduate enrollments (NCES 19931~. Hispanics The diversity of the Hispanic population calls for caution in interpreting aggregate statistics since the circumstances of subgroups differ. Further, the immigration of large numbers of Hispanics into the United States makes it risky to generalize from previous data to the future achievement of this group. Between ~ 980 and ~ 990, the Hispanic population grew by 53 percent, or about seven times faster than the rest of the nation. High school graduation presents a continuing barrier to college participation for Hispanic students, with only about one-half of them completing high school. Compared to Blacks, Hispanic SAT scores from 1980 to 1990 have shown little improvement. While younger Hispanics have achieved gains on the NAEP mathematics tests, the performance level of 17-year-olds remains unchanged. Hispanics made up 6.5 percent of enrolled undergraduates, but they earned only 3.4 percent of bachelor's degrees awarded in 1991 (NCES 1993 c, 19936~. In graduate education? Hispanics have recorded sizeable gains, with enrollments jumping 74 percent from ~ 980 to ~ 990. However, they still represent only 3.0 percent of total graduate students (NCES ~ 9936~.

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6 American Indians Although the native peoples of the United States are usually classified as Native Americans or American Indians and include Alaskan natives, there are actually over 400 different nations or tribes. This diversity is not usually recognized. There are an estimated I.9 million American Indians, representing about 0.8 percent of the U.S. population (O'Brien ~ 992~. Over one-third of American Indians fad! to complete high school. While the number of American Indians enrolled in college has increased in the past decade, no gain in the proportion of American Indians in higher education has occurred. In ~ 99 ~ about 4, 500 American Indians earned bachelor's degrees (NCES 1993c); ofthat number, only 70 degrees were awarded in the physical sciences (NCES 19936~. . ~ a ~ ~ SCIENCE, MATHEMATICS, AND ENGINEERING EDUCATION Disparities in participation and academic achievement in science between minority and non-minor~ty students become increasingly pronounced from high school through doctoral training. Many students enter college with an interest in science but switch from science before graduation. Astin and Astin ~ ~ 992) studied factors in the backgrounds and educational experiences of college students that affected their study of science and entrance into scientific careers. They found that close to 29 percent of college freshmen began college planning to major in science or engineering, but only 17 percent ended up with degrees in these fields' a decline of 40 percent. While it is normal to expect that many undergraduates will change their choice of majors during college, minority students (with the exception of Asians) were more likely to leave science than White students' as shown in Table 2. Even as students move into doctoral study, they continue to switch out of science. According to the NRC Survey of Earned Doctorates, of the 1992 Black Ph.D.s with bachelor's degrees in the physical sciences, less than one-half received the Ph.D. in one of those fields. Thirteen percent shined to the biomedical sciences, while 23 percent earned a doctorate in education. Among nonminority White students, field shifts were much less pronounced. Seventy percent remained in the physical sciences, while ~ ~ percent shiDed to the biomedical fields, and only 5 percent moved to education. This pattern has changed little in the past 20 years (NBGE 19764. BARRIERS TO PARTICIPATION Peng' Wright, and Hill (1994) found that African American, Hispanic, and Native American children generally have lower achievement scores and have completed fewer advanced science and mathematics courses by the time they graduate from high school than have Asian American or White students. They concluded that "without additional assistance these students would be nano~cappeo In taking rigorous science and mathematics classes at the college level; it is much harder for them to be scientists and engineers." In 1994 the College Entrance Examination Board reported that among high school seniors who took the SAT tests, ~ ~ percent of Blacks had completed calculus, compared to 22 percent of Whites and 40 percent of Asians. For college students, Astin and Astin (1992) found that the "strongest and most consistent predictor of changes in students' interest in science majors or careers , . .. . . . . . .

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7 TABLE 2 Percentage of 1985 College Freshmen and 1989 College Graduates, by Choice of College Major arid Race/Ethnicity Race/E~nicity N Percent Choosing Science Majors (a) 1985 1989 % Change 1985-89 Asian 1,066 52.6 35.9 -3 I.7 American Indian 209 34.5 17.7 -48.7 Chicano 428 35.7 13. ~-63.3 Affican American 1,088 34.2 16.1 -52.9 White 22,896 27.3 16.6 -39.2 All Students 26,306 28.7 17.4 -39.4 NOTE: Figures reported are from a sample survey and thus subject to sampling error. (a) Includes biological science (including premedicine), physical science, mathematics, computer science, . anc . englneermg. SOURCE: Astin and Astin 1992. is the student's entering level of mathematical and academic competency." In a study of how opportunities to learn science and mathematics are distributed within the educational system, Oakes (1990) concluded that the divergence of Black and Hispanic students from the science pipeline occurs as early as elementary school, when these students are more likely to be placed in low-ability classes and are less likely to participate in accelerated or enrichment programs. Stewart (1993) observed that the practice of grouping students by presumed levels of ability has a pernicious effect: "Achievement in children is so flexible and responsive to the environment that expectations become prophecy. Students treated as losers, act like losers; students treated as gifted and talented, act like gifted and talented." And Cantu (1994) argues that minority children will lose out on access to educational excellence if less is expected of them than of other children. There are also factors that are a consequence of lower economic circum- stances and social class, and while they affect all students in these situations' there is a . . c ~sproport~onate Impact on minority stuc ents because of the close correlation in our society between race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES). The data shown in Table 3 demonstrate that minority students are overrepresented among those in the lowest socioeconomic group. Among 1990 high school sophomores, approximately 40 to 50 percent of Hispanic, Black, and American l:ndian students were in the low SES category' compared to less than 20 percent of the Asians and Whites. Low persistence in higher education is not confined to poor or otherwise disadvantaged minorities. Even students from middle class minority families are likely to be "at risk" in higher education. Among students from more advantaged backgrounds, there are sizable differences between the college ~

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8 TABLE 3 Percentage of 1990 High School Sophomores in each Socioeconomic CategoIy, by Race/Ethnicity Low SES (a) ~ ~ ,! ~1 ~ ~ Middle SES (a) High SES (a) All Sophomores 25 50 25 Asiar ~18 45 32 Hispanic 52 38 11 Black 42 49 9 White 19 52 29 American Indian 41 52 6 - (a) The SES variable was constructed using information about parental education level, parental occupation, family income, and certain household items. SOURCE: NCES 1993a. graduation rates of Black and Hispanic students and those of White and Asian students. Seven percent of White, ~ percent of Black and 5 percent of Hispanic 1980 high school seniors from the lowest SES quartile had completed a bachelor's degree by 1986, while 40 percent of 1980 White high school seniors from the highest SES quartile earned a bachelor's degree or higher by ~ 986, compared to 26 percent of Black and IS percent of Hispanic students (NCES 1993b). The evidence presented above suggests that although differences in educational achievement between under- represented minorities and Whites narrow when income or other indicators of SES are considered, they do not disappear. Factors associated with minority status appear to be an added clisadvantage with respect to educational achievement. INSTITUTIONAL CLIMATE Why, it is asked, do some institutions and academic departments have a strong record of accomplishment in producing minority graduates while others do not? Minority institutions have excelled in this regard and continue to produce a large share of Black college graduates. Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have been particularly successful in producing science graduates. In 1993 they awarded 48 percent of bachelor's degrees earned by Blacks in computer science and mathematics, 47 percent in the physical sciences, and 42 percent in the life sciences (NSF 1995, 82). Xavier University, one historically Black college, is especially notable in this regard; almost one- half of its students graduate with degrees in mathematics and science (TOM 1994~.

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9 Figures reported by the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), however, indicate that 39 percent of minority freshmen engineering students nationally complete their undergraduate degrees, compared with about two-thirds of nonminority students. This graduation rate has remained virtually unchanged over the past 10 years (Morrison, Griffin? and Marcotullio 1995~. Data from the American Institute of Physics (AlP) indicate that few under- participating minorities have earned Ph.D.s in physics, and that only a small number of institutions have produced those doctorates. Ten universities accounted for one-half of all Black U.S. citizens earning Ph.D.s in physics from ~ 973 to ~ 99 ~ . Stanford University graduated 19 Black Ph.D.s over the 19-year period, or an average of one per year. One hundred thirteen physics departments did not award a single Ph.D. to Black students. WHY IS THE PROBLEM IMPORTANT? The urgency of this issue is more than a matter of individual equity. Our greatness as a nation will increasingly depend on the capabilities of our scientific en c} technological work force. The national interest is best served by assuring that doctoral scientists and engineerings are drawn from among those individuals with the greatest intellectual promise. Although talent is widely distributed throughout all population groups, the abilities of some groups in our society have been underdeveloped. If we fad] to identify and cultivate their potential, the excellence of our human resources at the highest levels of science ant! engineering will be less than what it can and should be. Demographic trends are compelling. By the year 2030, minorities will comprise more than one-half of the nation's children. As we move into the next century, not only the economic vitality but the fundamental social stability of the nation will depend on our ability to educate minority youth. If American education fails here, the consequences for our society will be profound. WHY IS A NATIONAL SCHOLARS PROGRAM NEEDED? Concerted national action is essential if we are to expand the pool of minorities with the appropriate qualifications to become faculty in colleges and universities or to obtain other high-level positions in the science and engineering work force. Two decades of efforts have produced only . . . . . . . c lsappo1ntlng progress in increasing the number of minorities earning a Ph.D. in science and engineering. It is reasonable to ask: Why is a National Scholars Program likely to make a contribution to solving this problem when many other initiatives apparently have had only modest success? In 1992 AAAS issued a report on the status of minorities in science and engineering. Drawn from dozens of interviews with government officials, educators, and industry personnel, the report highlighted several reasons for the lack of progress in increasing the number of minorities earning a Ph.D., including poor program oversight; little commitment from faculty; vague or unrealistic goals; inadequate or erratic funding; emphasis on recruitment and not retention; a focus on higher education that ignored problems at the precollege level; and lack of tracking of student progress. Although there may appear to be a large

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10 number of programs, the report pointed out that too many have operated in isolation, thus failing to develop the infrastructure necessary to sustain momentum in their efforts. Despite this general disappointment, there are many exemplary intervention programs. The Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) program, for example, was founded in ~ 970 "to increase the number of historically underrepresented students who graduate from four-year e e ~ ~ e e e universities wit ~ a degree In engineering, computer science, or other math-based fields." From this and other pioneering efforts has emerged a substantial base of knowledge about what does work. These proven strategies have provided critical information that can be used in developing a compre- hensive, systematic approach to increase the number of minorities succeeding in science e ant engineering. Ultimately, genuine reform should and must obviate the need for targeted programs. The existence of add-on or set-aside programs may have the unintended but serious eject of limiting or directing minorities to those designated programs, rather than including them in the much larger pool of mainstream resources and opportunities. However, reform will not be accomplished immediately, and until such fundamental change is realized, carefully designed targeted programs such as the National Scholars Program will serve two necessary purposes: first, to facilitate the success of current minority high school and college students, and second, to act as a catalyst for lasting change.